Last bus to Cancun

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December 10th 2018
Published: December 11th 2018
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Playa del Carmen to Cancun

Today we are leaving Playa and taking our last Mexican bus journey. I can’t say I am not glad to be leaving although the restaurant here was the best yet! Playa is just not our cup of tea.

We go for breakfast over at ‘La Junga’. We don’t need a menu - I’m having the vegetarian omelette and Ian is having fruit and yoghurt - I also don’t need to tell the waiter I don’t want beans...he knows! We make a quick Skype call as the internet has not been working for the last 24 hours at our place...very frustrating. Unfortunately for us the restaurant is packed this morning, so it has to be a very quick call!

After breakfast we return to our room and spend the morning playing cards until our check out at noon.

We pick up a taxi fairly quickly and establish the hiked-up tourist price that we have come to expect. We are whisked to the ‘alternative’ bus station - there are two in Playa - where we find a reasonable waiting area as we are 45 minutes early.

Thirty minutes before departure, we take our luggage over to the desk to check it in. It appears we are loading our own luggage today! We are told to pass straight through to the bus area. This is strange as our bus is not due for half an hour. We are directed to bay 1 and a bus arrives within minutes. I’m pretty sure this is not our bus as I managed to book the executive bus today and this one looks like first class.

An executive bus has just pulled into bay 6. We wonder if it’s ours? It appears that it is not but another one is now pulling in next door and it has Cancun displayed in lights upon it. There does seem a lot of confusion but the driver has just returned and is telling us to get on. We are handed two goody bags, which turn out to be less exciting than anticipated - we were both hoping for a sandwich. They contain a bottle of coke (yuk) and a set of headphones. I suppose we could open an headphone shop when we get back to the UK as nearly every bus journey has included a complimentary set.

Today, no-one has checked our tickets. This is usually done by both the driver and the guy who loads the luggage. We really hope we are on the right bus...especially as we have just pulled out of the bus station ten minutes ahead of schedule! If he turns left at the end of the road, I tell Ian, we are going the wrong way...if he turns right, we are OK. Seriously, there’s nowhere else he can be going if he turns right. We have reached the road junction and right it is - phew.

So now our bus is speeding down the dual carriageway and there will be no stops on the way. We have our plush executive bus which is occupied by only us and one other lady with a baby. Either this bus was not popular today or everyone else missed it because it left before the scheduled departure time!

We have now arrived at the bus station in Cancun, having identified our hotel when the bus passed it three minutes ago. It’s only four blocks away and the taxi driver here is even kind enough to point out the way. Our only problem being that the station is located in the middle of a roundabout so we have a busy road to cross. The pavements are typically suitcase unfriendly but we can take the side roads which are not so busy.

We have arrived at our hotel and booked into our room. I have asked the very friendly receptionist if our room has a lovely view. I asked because we have just passed by the side of the hotel where the windows overlook an ugly alleyway. It would appear our room doesn’t have a lovely view but she is happy to change it for me. :-)

Ian is very happy to see that we have a lift here - he is getting fed up with carrying both sets of luggage up and down multiple flights of stairs at every hotel. Our room is on the second floor. It’s a great room with a double window which overlooks the swimming pool and a door that leads to a huge balcony overlooking the street. For the past five days we have been sharing a tiny double bed, but here we get a super king size each! The mattresses and pillows are very comfortable and we have a huge walk in shower off a modern marble bathroom and lots of lovely orange blossom perfumed toiletries.

We take a quick shower to cool down after our journey and then set off to explore. There is another small pool on the roof, but the one outside our window on the first floor looks the best for a decent swim. We have also noted a large supermarket a couple of blocks away where we stock up on supplies. We have a fridge in our room and we are planning to check out the beach area tomorrow so a picnic lunch might be useful.

On the way back to our hotel, I see some shorts on a rail outside one of the shops. The lady comes out to greet me. I look at the shorts but I don’t think they are my size. You need extra large, she states! The pair on the rack are labelled large but clearly she thinks I am having a laugh if I think I’ll get into them. Oh dear, I have definitely put on weight this trip!

This evening we take a walk in the opposite direction in search of a restaurant. We pass a couple of likely candidates but first we are heading towards a huge marquee to see what all the noise is about. There is a stage with a public performance of singers and dancers. There are clowns and people of all age ranges in all kinds of fancy dress. It seems like anyone can join in. Right next to this is a large outdoor food court so we decide to give it a try. There’s a range of different outlets so you can order from whichever you want and then eat it at the central tables. We both decide on simple chicken and chips. At a mere 50 pesos (£2), it’s a bargain so we are not really expecting much. We add a litre bottle of melon juice for 20 pesos (50p) and choose a table with bright yellow stools.

Our lady has arrived bearing two bowls of delicious vegetable soup. Maybe we made a mistake as this seems more appropriate for 50 pesos. We tuck in and then two large glasses of juice that we didn’t order also appear. It looks like Ribera but actually It’s the Mexican ‘jamaica’ juice - made from cactus leaves. Tastes better than it sounds! We look at the lady with a puzzled look. She gives us a long explanation (in Spanish) and leaves the drinks with us. We look at each other and burst into fits of giggles as we haven’t a clue what she said. But we gather the drinks are definitely for us! And now our chicken and chips arrive...a huge plateful of roast chicken in a crispy coating, home made chips, rice and salad. Seriously it’s a slap up meal! Of course, this is an area for the local people - we are very much the odd men out!

After our food we wander around the square which is buzzing. There is a small funfair and there are kids zipping round in kiddie cars - watch your toes!

We return to the hotel. The pool is empty and looking very pretty with it’s coloured lights. Ian reminds me that I may swim till 9pm...but now I am stuffed!


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